A NY man was arrested for hoarding and price gouging medical PPE supplies


One of the factors that is going to exacerbate how deadly the novel coronavirus is over the next several weeks and months is the amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is available to medical staff. We know that medical workers are getting infected. There’s the chance for them to infect their loved ones before they realize that they should isolate themselves. There could also be a shortage of available medical staff at hospitals, further fueling (or at least not slowing) the spread of the virus. PPE keeps these heroes safe. And we know, too, that there is a dangerous shortage of it. States are fighting over it. Staff members are being fired for talking about shortages, which is complete BS and a whole additional problem.

So a report that man has been arrested for hoarding medical PPE makes me livid:

Federal authorities arrested a man in New York for allegedly claiming he had COVID-19 and coughing on FBI agents when they confronted him about stockpiling and selling vital medical supplies at inflated prices, the Justice Department said Monday.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, had allegedly been hoarding medical gear and resources essential to fighting the coronavirus outbreak, such as masks, disinfectants, and hazmat gowns, and then selling them to doctors at exorbitantly high prices, according to federal prosecutors.

On March 25, the federal government issued an executive order barring the excessive accumulation of health and medical resources needed to fight the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Doctors and nurses in New York, which has been hit hardest by the outbreak in the US, have been facing shortages of personal protective equipment, requiring them to reuse supplies or leaving them exposed.

When FBI agents confronted Feldheim at his home in Brooklyn on Sunday, he allegedly coughed in their direction and said he had the coronavirus, they said in court documents. Officials say he also lied to agents about stockpiling the supplies.

He has been charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement. If convicted on both counts, he would have to pay a $350,000 fine and could spend up to six years in prison.

[From BuzzFeed News]

Feldheim was caught because a New Jersey doctor contacted him via a WhatsApp group for medical workers, and when the doctor went to go pick up the supplies (at a 700% mark-up), he saw that the Feldheim had enough PPE and other critical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.” Last week, FBI agents gathered evidence that he was receiving deliveries of supplies and selling them, and confronted him.

He’s a terrible person for doing this. I know too many medical professionals who are terrified for their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of their patients. COVID-19 is no “flu.” This is not a joke. On Thursday, the news that we should start wearing masks when we go out began circulating. Illegally stockpiling lifesaving supplies, turning around and selling them, and at a huge mark-up no less, is obscene and unconscionable.



Stock photos credit: Anna Shvets and Andrea Piacquadio/pexels

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27 Responses to “A NY man was arrested for hoarding and price gouging medical PPE supplies”

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  1. Marigold says:

    Good. It’s profiteering, and I’m glad they’re punishing these people. I’ve read several stories of people who started going around to small towns and buying up all the sanitizer, PPE, and toilet paper. They created a false shortage on purpose to make profit.

    The best one I read was last month. They shut a guy down and he was left with like 70,000 bucks worth of loss because he was told he couldn’t sell the stuff. Serves him right. I hope he loses his house over it. That level of self-interest–for MONEY–when lives are at stake is evil.

  2. Roserose says:

    Ladies and gents, I give you Trump’s America. I really feel trump would not just condone but encourage and applaud this sort of thing.

    • Juls says:

      I loathe Trump. But greed and selfishness are a tale as old as time. But I agree that Trump has really brought out the worst in some people.

    • LadyMTL says:

      As Juls said it’s not only in America, sad to say. I live in Canada and I remember seeing on the news (this was a few weeks ago) about a man out west – I think in BC – who was doing this exact same thing only with cleaning supplies. He was even being interviewed by a reporter, talking about how he made something like $100,000. If I ever I wanted to shoot my TV, it was watching that report…and I don’t even own a gun.

      Profiteers should be arrested.

    • Mac says:

      Trump is basically doing the same thing on behalf of big business. States are being forced to outbid one another for PPE.

    • Lucy2 says:

      A NJ pizza parlor owner was arrested for coughing on a grocery store employee and then refusing to cooperate with police. Everyone immediately found his Facebook page, and of course he’s a very public Trump supporter. Disgusting on every level.

      I think this sort of hoarding and scamming would happen with anyone in the White House, but the mentality of someone who would do that usually aligns with Trump.

  3. Bebe says:

    Nurse here. I’m ready for any patient that needs me but it is not safe to work without PPE! I become a risk for healthy patients if I am not properly protected. Why do hospital admin make millions of dollars? 1 million dollars worth of PPE is literally lifesaving. And we were warned about this in 2009 with h1n1. We should have been ready! Sorry to be bitter.

    • tempest prognosticator says:

      Hear! Hear!

    • Lucy2 says:

      You’re not bitter, you’re right, and have every right to be furious! Thank you for all you are doing, and please stay safe as possible.

    • Marigold says:

      You’re not being bitter. You’re just stating the obvious and infuriating truth.

      And I have no idea if you’re a person of faith (and I’m not asking), but those of us who are, and who have no other way to help, are praying constantly for the health, safety, peace, and well-being of all our medical carers across the world right now. We don’t know what else to do. Once we’ve donated, it’s all we have left, but our hearts are with you, and we want nothing so much as we want you to be taken care of and protected.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is exactly what Trump is doing to the states that don’t kiss his fat orange ass. They are following the example set by Emperor Zero.

    • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

      Came out today that he’s an equal opportunity b@stard. Seems the Feds sent out a couple of thousand masks to ALABAMA (can’t get more red/republiTHUG than there), and the masks were from 2010 and DISINTERGRATED.

  5. aquarius64 says:

    I hope the creep rots in prison.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    If Hell exists, this man and people like him are going to burn in the deepest darkest pit of it for eternity.

    Until then, a jail sentence for voluntary manslaughter- which is basically what withholding critical medical equipment for inflated profit during a pandemic amounts to – and a strip of assets should help.

  7. Tanesha86 says:

    This infuriates me. I’m a nurse in the ER and we’re having to ration out PPE and sign out respirators because our supply is quickly dwindling and then you have vultures like this who are preying on folks in this crisis. This is abhorrent

  8. Finny says:

    I always wear a mask around this time of the year because all the pollen makes my chronic cough worse. I’m sewing my own masks out of cotton with a liner because there are no medical ones available. I just mailed 5 to my DIL, she works at the VA hospital in Indianapolis. She can’t get any PPE and she said mine are better than nothing plus you can throw them in the wash. It is a disgrace really how unprepared our country is. Our government had plenty of warning what’s coming months ago and could’ve ramped up preparations. The workers at the frontline of this pandemic need to be protected. If we run into a shortage of Dr. and Nurses we really are doomed. Those suckers trying to and are enriching themselves during a crisis like this are despicable.

  9. KellyRyan says:

    LA and Kern County both have warnings out to the general public. Those who engage in profiteering will be fined and face possible jail time. Bakersfield in Kern County has a hotline number for direct reporting.

  10. Seraphina says:

    Was it Jared Trump’s Son-in-law? 🤣

    That’s my new name for him because Trump is where he is now.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Omg, last night I was reading about a local nurse who was reamed for walking in the hospital’s hallway wearing the N95 mask. He was laid off. Then rehired because of the outcry against this crazy behavior. Another local nurse is fighting for his life because he was ordered, ORDERED, to wear scaled back medical equipment. He and his wife were documenting this on FB. The hospital demanded his wife remove the post to which she refused. She drove him to the hospital when he started coughing blood. Last I heard, he was in ICU fighting for his life. He and his wife are trying desperately to stay off the ventilator because statistically, more patients die once on ventilators.

    Hospitals punishing and firing staff during this crises is infuriating. Who the frak have we become? What the frak are we doing?

  12. Barb says:

    I love the fact that the Feds can just seize the stuff. Bring out all your hoarders — rat them out. They need to be exposed and their stuff needs to be redistributed.

  13. Jess says:

    In my opinion this guy is a murderer and should be punished accordingly. It blows my mind that anyone would think this is ok. He put lives at risk for money, sickening.

  14. Veronica S. says:

    I mean, people like him are pieces of sh*t and get what they deserve, but let’s not kid ourselves: this is exactly what the medical distributors are doing right now to people at a legal level. There’s no reason for us to be facing shortages with the kind of manufacturing power we have. Our government just refuses to utilize the DPA properly and force companies to make this stuff, and it could’ve been done months ago. All of our supply shortages are ultimately artificial and dictated by markets disinterested in anything but profits.

  15. Sojaschnitzel says:

    Sorry for cursing, but…
    What a f*cking a**hat. I cannot believe the audacity of people. I hope he goes to jail for a really long time, AND gets the virus.

  16. Lisa says:

    The audacity.

  17. Andrea says:

    I have a friend in NY who bragged about hoarding 4 years worth of gloves and at least a year or so of N95 masks. She has a husband with a compromised immune system, but I am horrified by her behavior. I suggested she donate some gloves and she said it would be like throwing money away!